For the first time since 2010, the Minnesota Twins are AL Central champions. The Twins needed some help after beating the Tigers to clinch on Wednesday evening, and got it when the Cleveland Indians dropped a lackluster 8-3 decision to the Chicago White Sox. Our friends at Twinkie Town are celebrating today, including one who is young enough to have known more failure than success.
While I can’t ever be truly happy for the Twins after all of the heartbreak they have delivered to our Tigers over the years — I don’t think I need to rehash the list here — it’s a little nice to see this particular group reach the postseason. The 2019 Twins have won in the most anti-Twins ways possible, relying on home runs and strikeouts, and generally playing a much more fun brand of baseball than the Ron Gardenhire era Twins teams ever did (yes, they were more talented than they get credit for, but that doesn’t mean I have to like them).
Now, the Twins will (probably) have a chance at redemption. Assuming the current standings hold, the Twins will match up with the New York Yankees in the ALDS, the same club that knocked them out of the postseason on four separate occasions between 2003 and 2010. Their fans would much rather face New York than Houston, but we’ll see how the playoff schedule shakes out after this weekend. The Twins still have to field a hangover lineup, after all.
— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 23, 2019
Whenever a team wins a division title, it's usually followed by a night of well-earned champagne-sprayin, beer-chuggin and general boozin around.
But what happens the next day???
THIS IS THE HANGOVER LINEUP, EXPLAINED
( @changeupondazn) pic.twitter.com/fxmcrZYm2q
Things are a little different this morning after Cleveland lost on Wednesday, but we still have a chance at a three-way tie for the two AL Wild Card spots.
If this happens the above scenario would unfold. Oakland would almost certainly choose option A (hosting the first game, then playing in Game 2 if they lose), but Tampa’s decision is an interesting one. Do they choose to play on the road in the first game and face a potential cross-country flight to a second winner-take-all road game if they lose? Or do they take the home game and give themselves just one bite at the postseason apple?
However, this all becomes moot if Cleveland (now 1 1⁄2 games back) can’t keep it together.
NL baseball is baseball too
The National League Wild Card Game is already set, as the Milwaukee Brewers locked up the NL’s final playoff spot on Wednesday. The Brewers and Washington Nationals are still fighting for home field advantage in the Wild Card Game — Washington has a one game lead right now, but the Brewers own the tiebreaker. Milwaukee also has an outside shot at the division, though St. Louis’ magic number is down to three with three games remaining.
The Tigers are now on the clock
With their 111th loss of the season, the Tigers have now locked up the No. 1 pick in next year’s MLB draft. We will provide plenty of draft coverage along the way... but not yet. If you’re jonesing for your ridiculously early draft fix, here are a few resources for you.
- MyMLBDraft.com has an early mock up, with the Tigers taking Georgia righthander Emerson Hancock first overall.
- Baseball America’s first mock came out when the Tigers were ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the standings, and they have Detroit taking Tigers Twitter darling Spencer Torkelson with the second pick.
- Bleacher Report’s first mock came out earlier still, and it also has Hancock going first overall to the Orioles. Some of the other names listed there are worth researching, if you’re interested.
- ESPN’s David Schoenfield didn’t release a mock, but did profile the top of what promises to be a loaded draft class.